marketing strategy – the only constant is change

I for one dislike cheesy management ‘guru’ statements. My least favourite is ‘don’t work in your business work on it.’ So concise, so easy to say, so wise but how to do it? No matter, ‘change’ the eternal challenge to the marketing profession, is very much on the agenda. Why? Well there are some pretty lumpy trends bouncing around that need to be considered when building a marketing strategy. It seems what used to be ‘blue collar’ workers are kicking the establishment at least across western economies. The unspoken drift towards ‘one world’ and multi-culturalism is being challenged by both left and right and the fall out poses problems for global brands who may now have to think more parochially – maybe we are in for a bout of ‘multi -localism?’ (I think I made that phrase up but apologies if I stole it by accident.)

The tactical toolkit for marketers is also under scrutiny. We have people like Professor Ritson (see ) challenging the perceived importance of things like social media and ‘content based marketing’, whilst advertising options diversify with alarming frequency. The line between TV, radio and web is blurring and e-mail looks pretty overheated with smart phone viewing resulting in tiny dwell times. SEO used to be relatively easy to understand, a bit of geek time and Google could be fooled into thinking your site was worthy, not so much now.

In times of accelerated change it is good to go back to the basics. Things like defining our product or service in the context of a known customer base and then articulating brand values that will resonate with that group (or that single consumer) still makes great sense. This should help sharpen focus. In terms of tactical delivery this is the really tricky bit. Budgets look like they may be tightened at a time when routes to customers are diversifying and results by channel are changing.

The implications could be that we need a much more fluid approach to marketing planing. It needs to be done but we need to be able to change tack quickly, not so much with messaging but in the marketing mix in its most broad of senses. We should also not assume that cultural values are static.

So culturally we are on the move and possibly diversifying, tactically we have a moving landscape and some how we need to take a precise aim. Tricky.


Steve Bedford

Conical Steve Bedford Specialist in Marketing Strategy